Hello, I’m Danita.
I write, I speak, and I study people’s behavior and help them heal from life’s trauma. My goal is to help you go to that place of pain and help you heal.
I’m folk from a small town called Kinston, North Carolina who had a dream to help people heal, a laptop, and some kick-fire content on expressive therapy. While I appreciate traditional learning and 9 to 5vers (because I am one also), I’m about helping people step into their creativity unsludged.
But why do I give a dang so much about seeing people healed?
We all have an expression inside of us to lend our talent to the Earth. After 12+ of working with hundreds of people and communities who were recovering from traumatic events, I’ve developed conceptual approaches and resources that help grief stricken and orphaned people get tap into their creative expression.
My work is based on the principles of biblical teaching that promise a heapload of help for the broken hearted mixed with my favorite theorists on Expressive Therapy and Community Psychology which state the following:
- Pain and brokenness don’t happen overnight (you know it’s true. Something had to break you in your cultural or environmental areas of influence)
- Healing arrives from within (we often know the source of our pain but are unwilling to knock on the door without an escort! Grief, trauma, and loss or even abandonment are issues which bruise the core of your soul and it’s necessary to bust that door down before you build your life around them.
My background is colorful and has mixed me in the arena as a behavioral therapist, social worker, professor, community organizer, survived working in the nonprofit arena and am fortunate to have earned a Master’s degree in Social Work (Community Organization and Administration from the University of Pittsburgh (Go Panthers!) and an undergrad in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Go Spartans!). In addition to all of this, I am a certified non-profit professional with a left-brained ability to organize a nation.
Having worked with communities for 6 years designing policies and effective expressive therapy programming via grants (raising over $20,000 in the Hill District Community of Pitsburgh, PA and assisting in the development of Atlanta’s first Affordable Green Housing Policy and multi-million dollar Neighborhood Stabilization Program, yes, toot! toot! Glory to God!); I realized that community policies and programming is awesome; yet there are a well of people unwilling to come to the programs because they are emotionally broken and need to identify and deal with issues of abandonment, trauma, grief, and loss (to name a few) in a safe space in order to move forward with life.
My gift is working with people to extract their greatness out of the emotional sludge and watch them step into their purpose (like a proud teacher clapping and cheering her students on)! Through active listening and guided work (although uncomfortable at times), it’s amazing to see what has always been there just covered with clutter and loud silence.
I appreciate you lending your eyes to my page so take the time to tap into my latest audio recording on how to get unstuck from emotional sludge and get on with creating something beautiful out of this life.
Creating Venues of Expression has been my passion from birth. Mainly acquired from my dad, I’ve created the following expressive therapy venues to assist others with their healing as well as my own from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress) following the death of both parents. They include:
- Youth Gospel Extravaganza (created by my parents, the late Donald Ray and Joyce Gray Solomon) featuring youth choirs from all over the Eastern section of North Carolina coming together in the middle of a park on a flat bed trailer. The initiative assisted in the reduction of crime in Kinston, North Carolina. 1984-1994
- JusWrit Entertainment, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1998-2001, a weekly poetry venue held in the campus dormitory, created with the intent to provide a venue of expression for students, create unity, combat suicides committed on campus, and my own grief following the death of my parents.
- Jazz on the Hill, Hill District Neighborhood, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2003-2004, created supportive grant funding via the Hill Community Development Corporation to the visionary artist Jorge Meyers. Featured weekly poetry and jazz events on a stage constructed by Carnegie Mellon Design students in an effort to support emotional healing due to per-gentrification and population loss.
- SynerArts on Centre Avenue, Hill District Neighborhood, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2004-2005, a comprehensive community development strategy featuring community clean-ups, mural installations, coordination councils, jazz and poetry sessions. Program design and grant development.
- EstherDay: A Literary Series for Unbroken Women, 2005-2008, a bi-weekly book club facilitated at two Barnes and Nobles locations in South Georgia
- Present day, I’ve created two venues to further assist persons with expressive therapy techniques
- Orphan No More Podcast, an international podcast featured in 150 countries spreading the love of Jesus with a message of being free from the Orphan Mentality 2008-ongoing
- Danitaogandaga.com, a blog featuring encouraging words of inspiration on communication, notification, and coordination for everyday living; all of the critical elements to expression. The blog encourages you to take advantage of the cheapest & effective forms of therapy. This site has recently included coaching packages to assist people who are undergoing grief or loss. Identifying and dealing with the issues that have caused you to be frozen in life is the first place to start to obtain your healing.
Breathe…..I know it sounds like a lot….and it is, but this is my absolute purpose and I will be at it hard until Jesus comes! I’m making daily strides towards the completion of my PhD from Capella University in Social Work to further assist people with expressive therapy, counseling, and publications towards their healing!
Favorite pastime: Organizing Coupons, in fact, I recently published my new audio book “Confessions of a Coupon Mom by Danita Ogandaga”.
Utilizing the world’s technology, my family’s mission, like Kashi, is to assist in setting people free with the message of Jesus’s love. Thanks for joining me!